Monday, 27 March 2017

Dwemer Spider - Small Construct (CR 3)

I have been playing a LOT of Elder Scrolls games over the last few months, including Skyrim and Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited, and one of the things I love about that universe is that fact that the Dwarves (or Dwemer) are a dead race, and that their ancient technology is both badass and scattered across the world. One of the more common Dwemer minions you encounter in these games are the Dwemer Spiders; scuttling, metallic things that have ripping talons and brutal lightning based attacks. Although not all are created equally, I have statted up the most basic version; a foundation from which to build more potent and sophisticated versions.

And I thought I would share it with you all!


Obviously The Elder Scrolls and all that belongs to Bethesda, just in case you thought I had, you know, single handedly created that franchise :D

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Dwaercraft Items and Decay - Houserules and New Items

Ever since at least 1st Edition, the drow (or Dwaer'Syth as they are in my games) have been masters at binding the strange and subtle energies of their subterranean home world to certain metals and other materials, in order to craft potent weapons and fabulous armour. It has also always been a fact that these items, once removed from that environment (or in some editions, once exposed to sunlight) begin to decay.

I've always liked this rule, as it meant I didn't have to worry too much if the group got their hands on their enemies items. They may enjoy a temporary (and sometimes necessary) power bump, but nothing was permanent. I also loved how it fit in with the idea of the dwaer being creatures of darkness; creatures so wicked that even their gear was bound to the darkness of the deep realms and perished once exposed to the cleansing light.

In one of my current games, the group have gotten embroiled in all kinds of Dwaer'Syth stuff, and have obtained a few choice items (spoilers: one item is cursed, but has yet to reveal its nature) . These "Dwaercraft" items are quite potent, but are destined, now they are away from the subtle power of the underdark, to begin to slowly unravel. Yes, even the cursed one.

Here are my rules for just this. I hope they are useful to someone.

Dwaercraft items are crafted in eerie forges of silence and shifting arcane pressures. Dwaer smiths use strange alloys and dark magics to bind the unnatural radiations of their home realm to these items - energies that rapidly dissipate when the item is removed from the depths for at least 10 consecutive days (5 if exposed to sunlight for even an instant).


Once such items have begun to decay, nothing short of a Wish can stop it, though certain other items have been created that delay or prevent this happening..

Once an item begins to decay, it loses one point of bonus every 10 days. Once the bonus reaches zero, the item crumbles into strands of inert, useless ash. Items that do not have "plusses" decay dependent on their rarity. Common items Rot after 5 days, uncommon 10, Rare 20, Very Rare 30 and Legendary 60.

To.combat this decay, various individuals have crafted items over the years that delay or prevent it. Here are two examples.

Dark Charged Resonant Shard (Very Rare Wondrous Item) These shards are imbued with the essence of the deep realms, and can be slotted into a Dwaercraft item to prevent it decaying. They are slender, twisted flecks of darkly iridescent, glassy material that subtly crawl with dark energy. One slotted (usually in a slip silver or permanent slot worked into the item) to an iten it becomes immune to the decay associated with being removed from the deep realms and / or exposed to sunlight.

Night Infusion Oil (uncommon consumable) An application of this darkly luminous oil covers one medium sized weapon or carried item. Two are needed for a large weapon or suit of medium armour. It takes 1 minute to use, but once applied delays the onset of decay caused by being removed from the deep realms or by exposure to such light for 1d4+1 days.

Nightbond Oil (Very Rare consumable) An application of this shimmering, volatile fluid grants a single weapon or set of armour a permanent +1 bonus (max enchantment +4). However, that item becomes a Dwaercraft item, and has all the weaknesses common to such items.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Indomitability - Level 5 Abjuration

Another spell from (I think) either 2nd or 3rd Edition, that any adventurer would be only too pleased to have cast upon them before a major battle!

5th level Abjuration

Cleric, Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard

Casting Time: 1 Action
Range: Touch
Area of Effect: Creature Touched
Components: V, S
Saving Throw: No
Duration: 1 hour

This spell protects the target against damage that would take them to 0 hit points or less. It remains until it's duration ends or until it is triggered.

The first time the Warded individual suffers hit point loss that would take them to 0 hit points or fewer, the spell triggers and they are reduced to 1 hit point instead. This spell does not protect against any additional effects of the triggering attack, such as a Ghoul's paralyses or a Spider's venom. It similarly does not protect against effects that bring death or other woes without reducing hit points.

At Higher Levels: If cast with a slot of 6th level or higher, the spell lasts for an additional hour for every level higher than 5th it is. If an 8th level or higher slot is used, the Warded individual also gains temporary hit points equal to the spell slot level x2 when the spell is triggered.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Absorption - Level 9 Abjuration

The 2nd Edition Cult of the Dragon source book was a great little tome, packed full of new spells, monsters and magical items. The spell below is one of the more potent castings described in there, and would be a great use of a high level spell slot for any mage lucky enough to find a copy.

The original makes no mention of the effect this apparently has on lady

9th level Abjuration


Casting Time: 1 Action
Range: Personal
Components: V, S, M (Amulet worth 1,000gps)
Saving Throw: No
Duration: 12 Hours or until used

You create an invisible weave of magic around yourself, that allows you to absorb up to 10 levels worth of spells and to use them to cast your own prepared spells.

When you would be affected by a spell, you can choose to absorb it instead. The spell has no effect on you, and you can store the energy in the weave. If you do not have enough "room" to absorb a spell, it works normally, although you have advantage on any saves you make against it. You can choose to lower the weave temporarily to receive beneficial spell effects.

When you cast a spell you have prepared, you can choose to expend spell levels you have stored in the weave instead of a spell slot (so you could use 5 stored levels to cast a spell that would use a 5th level spell slot).

The spell ends when a total of 10 levels of spells have been absorbed and used, or when 12 hours have passed.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Swordwing Cogivore - Medium Humanoid (CR 11)

"Whilst the armoured fighters of their kind held us at bay, slashing and ripping into us with savage and precise effect, the slightly smaller ones darted here are there, dodging out of the way of our archer's fire, and unleashing unseen bursts of crushing psychic power. What had started as an ambush, quickly dissolved in abject chaos, and then a rout, and I am not ashamed to admit that I was part of that mindless, panicked retreat."

- From battle report of Undurgoin Khozzakar, Daelndorin Warlord. 

Art from:
Best I could find...(from
The Swordwings come in a number of varieties, apparently evolved to fulfill different roles in either day to day life, or in defense of their hives. The cogivore is somewhat smaller than their warrior kin, and over all is substantially less of a threat. However, they wield potent psionic abilities, and can easily destroy an enemy physically and psychically, although their role tends to be to hang back and to snipe at enemies whilst their more physically potent brethren tear into them. 

The Illithids of Arbel'Verdnaniss have tried several times to control these things, in order to use them as watchdogs or even the hosts for their foul larvae.However, these have always ended in disaster, as the beasts are immune to any kind of magical or psionic control, and their distress was somehow sensed by the rest of the hive, who sent soldiers to rescue their lost brethren.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Swordwing - Medium Humanoid (CR 18)

"I grow increasingly irritated with my peers and their short sighted unwillingness to consider the evidence. Contrary to prosaic ideas, there is plenty to suggest that the Settari, Daemonori and Ael'Shar were not the first races, and that they may, in truth, have been either travelers to this universe, or creations of the true progenitor races. 

"I have not only found impossibly ancient fragments suggestive of a truly ancient race (or races), but have also encountered contemporary species that seem to echo the form and mindset of those pieces. For example, the "Swordwings" of the deepest umbra; a race as alien and strange as any, which are clearly of this world, and yet, not so. I believe that they are the product of one of these true ancient races - soldiers or guardians perhaps - that have endured and thrive, unknown to most, in the deepest and most hostile regions of our world."

- From the personal Journal of Eskarr Rhammoth, Adventuring Mage

"Overgrown bloody bugs were after me' axe. So, I gave it to 'em."

- Brundor Trullslayer; Vengeful Cleaving Axe of Thorduin

"Hello? Is this thing turned on? This is then worst smart phone I have ever used."
Swordwings first  appeared, to my knowledge, in 4th Editions' Monster Manual. They were aberrant humanoids from the deepest reaches of the Underdark, that looked like Scyther on crack, and had some nasty powers to punish the more mobile 4e classes. To be honest, I never really got past their pokemonish looks, and so, never really thought about using them. 

However, my campaigns are writhing, tentacled things, that often burrow and reach into spaces I had never envisioned (And - DM Hint - this is both ok and cool), and suddenly I am aware that these guys (for I am dreaming up a number of variants, including the deadly Cogivore and monstrous Executioners) could be very useful....veeeery useful.....

Anyway, in my worlds they are largely unknown, for they occupy places so deep and forbidding that they make the lightless delves of the dwaer'syth, dwaerdorin, suben'duun and dismordiir seem airy and close to the surface in comparison. They may (or may not) be a creation of the true progenitor races (assuming they existed), and may, or may not be waiting for something to "come right" before they fly forth and make their presence known. 

This particular beastie is designed to be more than a little "tanky"; High AC, lots of hit points, and a butt load of ways to prevent enemies from getting away from its withering and accurate attacks. Throw a couple at your players whilst squishier, ranged monsters do their thing, and watch the carnage unfold. 


Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Vial of Shared Fates - Very Rare Wondrous item (Requires Attunement)

Vial of Shared Fates (Very Rare Wondrous Item; Requires Attunement by up to three living creatures): This item resembles a finely crafted crystalline vial, which is stoppered at both ends with graven seals of bloodstone, transientum and Vitalwood. 

From one end protrudes a fine needle, which easily enters the flesh of any creature applying even the slightest amount of pressure. If an attuned individual does this, magic draws a single drop of blood from them, which is suspended within the vial. If only one creature does this, then the item has no effect, for it needs at least two creatures to add their blood, in order for it to function.

When more than one creature adds a drop of their blood, their life force (in the form of hit points) become combined, meaning that instead of having their own separate hit points, they add their totals together, and any damage they suffer comes from that shared pool of hit points. This means that should the pool be depleted, all connected creatures are rendered unconscious, and begin to die.

Healing works in the same way, restoring lost hit points to the pool.

Whenever any hit points are lost from the pool, all connected individuals feel it as pain. They may, as a bonus action, attempt a D.C. 10 Wisdom ability check to see if they can determine who has been wounded.

Temporary hit points still only benefit the one gaining them.

There are some limitations. If any creature is separated from the vial by more than 100 miles, the link is broken. Similarly, if a creature is on a different plane to the vial, the link is lost. No more than three creatures can be linked to the vial, and if any are exposed to any effects that can cause instant death, all linked individuals are similarly exposed to it.

Image From:
"Billy Bob? That vial o' yer blood ye giv me', be glowin' all spooky like agin!"

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Black Blade of Disaster - Level 9 Conjuration

I've been converting some high level spells from the 3.0 Magic of Faerun book, and thought I would share some of the results. Here is the first; a potent spell that conjures a mobile dimensional rift, which is under the casters control, and which can be used as a weapon with terrible disintegration powers.

It's tough, but it's also a 9th level spell.

Have fun!

*   *   *

Black Blade of Disaster
9th level Conjuration

Artificer, Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard

Casting Time: 1 Action
Range: 60ft
Components: V,S
Saving Throw: No
Duration: 1 Minute (Concentration)

You Conjure a planar rift shaped like a slender blade, and may use it to make devastating attacks. Using a move, you may command the blade to fly up to 30ft, and may use a bonus action to make it attack a target.

The sword gains a +4 bonus to attack rolls (use your spell attack modifier) and on a hit inflicts 2d12+4 bane force damage. It scores a critical hit (which ignores all Fortification) on a natural 18, 19 or 20, and on such a hit inflicts an additional 10d6+40 bane force damage. Creatures slain by the blade, and objects destroyed by it are turned to ash as if disintegrated. The blade ignores any damage thresholds, and can only be destroyed by casting a Gate spell upon it, or a successful Dispel Magic. Exposure to a Sphere of Annihilation also destroys the blade.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Quell - Medium Undead (CR 3)

Ormid and the gang are currently fighting for their lives against an ancient Lich (and former player character). One of this bastards legendary powers allows him to summon a number of undead, and in the next game, I suspect that a Quell - an undead originally found in the 3rd Edition Libris Mortis - will soon by getting called in order to deal with a cleric of Namaea'Isaala who is causing the Lich some headaches.

"Ok, ok, so can we please decide which of these I shall be known as, as I am sick of being known as the undead formerly known as Quell"

Quell appear as shimmering, floating humanoids, surrounded by swirling symbols which speak of blasphemy and disgust for the Gods. Though physically little threat, their true power comes from their ability to temporarily cut a deist off from the source of their power.

In my games, it is unclear where the first Quell came from. Some suppose they were forged during the Primal Wars, or that they arose from a great apostate or heretic of some ancient power. What is known is that they are rare, and are a menace to be wiped out at once - or bound and made use of.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

A Pile of Converted Items!

Hey, hey! So sorry for the lack of recent updates. As said before, we have a new baby and I work a full time job, so life is hectic to put it mildly.

Anyway, I have been converting some 4th Edition Magical Items from the Adventurer's Vault to 5th Edition, and thought I would share them.

Hope you enjoy!

*    *    *

Bracers of Bold Manoeuvring (Uncommon Wondrous Item; Requires Attunement): As a bonus action you can activate these bracers, which grant you a measure of protection against Opportunity Attacks. Once activated, such attacks suffer Disadvantage on the attack roll. This effect remains active for 3 rounds. Once used, this power cannot be used again until you have a short or long rest.

Bracers of Iron Arcana (Uncommon Wondrous item; Requires Attunement by a spell caster): As a bonus action you can activate these bracers, which, until the end of your next turn grant you a bonus to your AC equal to your spell casting attribute modifier. Once you have used this power 3 times, you must complete a long rest before you can use it again.

Cat Paws (Common Wondrous item; Requires Attunement) Once per long rest you can, as a bonus action, climb at your normal speed.

Gauntlets of Blinding Strikes (Uncommon Wondrous Item; Requires Attunement) Once per long rest you can activate these gauntlets as a bonus action, and immediately make two melee attacks, though both suffer disadvantage on their attack rolls. If both attacks hit the same target, you have advantage on your next attack roll against them before the end of your next turn.

Gloves of the Beneficent Healer (Very Rare Wondrous item; Requires Attunement) Once per short or long rest, you may, as an action, expend as many of your hit dice as you wish, and use them to heal an adjacent creature you can touch instead of healing yourself. Until the end of your next turn, you gain a +1 bonus to AC after doing this.

Abyssal Adornment (Rare Wondrous item; Requires Attunement) This bauble grants you a +1 bonus when saving against the attacks and effects of fiends, and allows you, once per long rest as a reaction when you suffer acid, cold, fire, lightning or thunder damage, to gain resistance to that energy type (halving the triggering attack’s damage). This resistance remains active for 1 minute.

Cloak of Distortion (Rare Wondrous Item; Requires Attunement) Ranged attacks from 25ft away or further suffer disadvantage on their attack rolls against you whilst you wear this cloak. 

Cloak of the Phoenix (Legendary Wondrous item; Requires Attunement) Once per day when you are reduced to 0 hit points whilst wearing this cloak, you vanish, and all enemies within 15ft of you suffer 17 (5d6) fire and 17 (5d6) radiant damage (D.C. 17 Dexterity save halves this damage). On your turn the next round, you reappear in the same place you vanished from (or the nearest empty spot if this is occupied), on full hit points and with all conditions removed. If you had any hit dice left when the cloak’s power was activated, they are removed as if spent.

Tattered Cloak (Uncommon Wondrous item; Requires Attunement): This cloak grants you Advantage on any Stealth check, or Charisma skill check made to appear as a commoner, pauper or transient. Furthermore, once per long rest as a bonus action, you can activate its magic to force all enemies within 25ft of you make a D.C. 14 Wisdom saving throw, failure indicating that they will not see you as a threat. This is a charm effect, and at the end of each of their rounds, they may repeat the saving throw to end it. If you attack a creature affected by this power, they may immediately repeat the saving throw with advantage.

Vengeance Sash (Uncommon Wondrous Item): Once per long rest, when you are reduced to 0 hit points, you may, before you fall unconscious, make a single attack, or cast a single cantrip at the enemy that has just wounded you.

Rogues Belt (Uncommon Wondrous item; Requires Attunement): Whilst attuned to this belt you can make a check to escape being grabbed, swallowed, restrained or any similar effect as a bonus action.

Pouch of Frozen Passage (Rare Wondrous Item): Once per long rest, as an action, you may sprinkle some of the algid crystals from within this pack into any fluid, causing it to immediately freeze solid out to a 100ft radius. Creatures at the surface of the fluid must make a D.C. 16 Dexterity (Athletics) or Strength (Athletics) check to escape begin Restrained by the freezing fluid (and may repeat these checks as an action on their turns if caught). The surface formed is thick enough to support up to 10,000 lbs of weight, and lasts for 4 hours unless somehow thawed. This pouch works on any fluid, even dangerous fluids like lava or acid.

Zealot’s Armour (Rare Armour [any]; Requires Attunement by an individual proficient with that type of armour): When an undead hits you whilst you are wearing and attuned to this +1 armour, they suffer Radiant damage equal to your proficiency bonus.

Veteran’s Armour (Very Rare Armour [any]; Requires Attunement): When you spend a Hero Point whilst wearing this armour, you may add an additional +2 to the result. Furthermore, once per day, you may spend a Hero Point to recharge one ability of another item as if you had been through a long rest with it.

Warsheath Plate (Rare Armour [Plate Armour]; Requires Attunement): Once per long rest, as a bonus action, you force all enemies within 20ft to make a D.C. 15 Dexterity or Strength saving throw (their choice), failure indicating they are pulled adjacent to you.

Stoneborn Armour (Uncommon Armour [Any Heavy Armour]; Requires Attunement); Once per long rest you may activate this armour’s power as a bonus action, gaining Temporary Hit Points equal to 10 + Your Constitution Modifier. If you spend one of your Hit Dice when activating this power, the amount of temporary hit points granted increases to 20 + Your Constitution Modifier.

Soulwarding Armour (Very Rare Armour [Any]; Requires Attunement): Whilst wearing and attuned to this +1 armour, you gain Resistance to Necrotic damage, and effects that deal Necrotic damage cannot reduce your maximum hit points.

Armour of Durability (Uncommon Armour [Any]; Requires Attunement): When you spend a hit dice whilst wearing and attuned to this armour, you gain twice your constitution modifier to each dice rolled instead.

Armour of Starlight (Very Rare Armour [Any]; Requires Attunement): This armour grants you +1 AC when worn, and once per long or short rest, when an enemy hits you, you can, as a reaction blind them. They may attempt a D.C. 16 Constitution saving throw at the end of each of their turns to end this effect.

Crystal Armour (Very Rare Armour [Any]; Requires Attunement): This +2 armour activates when you are at 50% or less of your total hit points, granting you advantage on all Wisdom, Intelligence and Charisma saving throws.

Gem of Colloquy (Uncommon Wondrous Item; Requires Attunement) This gem floats around the user’s head, and grants them a +1 bonus to all Deception and Diplomacy checks and the ability to speak and understand one language (chosen at the time the gem is created).

Cynic’s Goggles (Uncommon Wondrous Item; Requires Attunement) Whilst attuned to and wearing these goggles, the wearer has advantage on all saving throws and checks to recognise Illusions.

Force Shield (Uncommon Shield; Requires Attunement) At the start of a battle, the bearer gains a +2 bonus to AC and Dexterity saving throws. This bonus remains until they are damaged by an attack that targets either AC, or requires a Dexterity saving throw.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

The Butcher - Huge Fiend (CR 25)

"Ah! Fresh Meat!"
- The Butcher

Diablo turned 20 years old recently, and I was too busy to recognise that on here. So, to remedy that, here are my stats for a very epic version of everyone's (least)favorite daemon - The Butcher. 

I played Diablo when it first came out, and remember the ABSOLUTE FURY of being repeatedly and mercilessly murdered by this prick! I also remember the frequent scenario of trying to run away from him, and ending up in an even worse situation as I stumbled into large groups of enemies elsewhere. 

Ultimately of course, it was worth it when you finally killed him - but still. 

In Diablo III the Butcher is back, and this time he is a hulking monstrosity that has a new array of vicious tricks. He's actually not the hardest guy to beat (not by a long chalk), and if you want to recreate him "as is", you might want to strip away all the legendary stuff in this build (it hugely ramps up his CR). 

Monday, 9 January 2017

Creeping Doom - Large Swarm of Tiny Beasts (CR 8)

Who remembers the spell Creeping Doom? No, not the reigned in 3rd and 4th edition ones, I mean the earlier ones that could inflict 1d6+4 x 100 points of damage, that one?


No, this one is nothing like that. Cool though wasn't it? I fondly remember some 26th level (or so) heroes in my 2nd Edition AD&D game facing off against a Yochlol, in the heart of a dwaer'syth's spelljamming vessel, and things coming unstuck really quickly when it vomited a double strength Creeping Doom at them (Traveller teleported back to his own ship, leaving poor old King Brundor to take the brunt himself. He was skeletonised...not for the first or indeed, last time).
"Ha ha ha! This is fun. The pain is excruciating."

Anyway, this may or may not have been created because one of my groups are in the middle of (loudly) infiltrating a dwaer'syth house compound, and are very likely to face against Creeping Dooms, and those able to summon them.

Obvious variants would have climbing or flying speeds, and may be poisonous.

You may have noted that I have taken quite a few cues from 4e's swarms. That's because I actually think 4e did swarms perfectly. Swarms are, and should be seen as, terrifying things.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Still Above 1 Hit Point

Sorry for the lack of new stuff lately. We had our fourth baby last October, and between kids, work and trying not to go insane, I have not had much time to get anything done for here. Hopefully, once stuff calms down a little in real life, I can get back to regular updates here.

I will still be aiming to get a couple of bits and bobs on here each month in spite of everything.

Hope that's cool.

- Seftonius Rex

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Krampus - Large Fey (CR 15)

Ah Krampus. The internet loves him, and so do sites like this one. I have always resisted statting the happy little bugger up, as it gets done almost everywhere else at this time of year. However, as a father of four children, there are times when his ministrations would be welcome (I joke).

The next season of "Super Nanny" is going to be epic according to this publicity photo

So, although Krampus is a decidedly fiendish fellow, I decided that it actually made more sense for him to be Fey, as he hangs out with the likes of St Nick who is blatantly Fey (or angelic I guess). This also allows him to take children to his realm for moral realignment, without necessarily exposing them to the primal viciousness and evil of the daemonic dimensions.
Happy Yule Timmy. It's whippin' time!
For those that prefer Krampus to stuff kids into a sack, give him a special Bag of Holding that can hold up to five medium children at a time. 

Krampus hasn't really features in my games. There have always been dark entities that steal children, but this is usually for deeply sinister and nihilistic purposes. It seems likely however that he could be summoned with specific magics and bound to steal away specific naughty children, using ancient and unique spells of conjuration.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Remmanon - Large Fiend (CR 12)

Not gonna' lie, 3.5's Monster Manual V was not the best I've ever seen, with more than a few "filler" monsters (Frostwind Virago, Garngrath and all the variants on well detailed humanoid races, I am looking at you). However, there were also some really cool horrors in there too, and this one - a devil that seeks to sow discord and confusion in the mortal world - is one of them.

I'm going to level with you, barbed wire and thorns was a terrible choice for this kind of weather...

Appearing as a floating, ram-horned humanoid, wrapped in writhing lengths of thorned vine and barbed wire, these things are not the most imposing daemons physically. However, their very presence causes bursts of temporary madness, and their touch summons the very fires of Hell.

So, happy Yule! Ho-Ho-HOLY WEAPON PLEASE!!!!

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Thessalhydra - Huge Monstrosity (CR 20)

"It's the Thessalhydra, I'm telling you."
"It's not the Thessalhydra!"
"I'm telling you, it's the Thessalhydra."

- Stranger Things; Series 1, Episode 8

Ah, the Thessalhydra - one of my all time favorite beasts from the AD&D 1st Edition Monster Manual II. A towering nightmare, that comes somewhere between T-Rex, a nest of snakes and a bath of acid, it used to terrorize my players back in the day almost constantly. 

Thessalhydrae would be expanded in 2nd Edition to be just one of a whole crew of "Thessal-" monsters, including such crazy hybrids as the Thessalgorgon and Thessaltrice. However, the best is the original, and here, for 5th Edition, are my stats for that original badass. 

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Lantern Weapon (Rare Weapon - Requires Attunement)

Lantern Weapon (Rare Weapon; Requires Attunement): Any type of weapon can bear this enchantment which forces those struck by it to make a D.C. 15 Dexterity saving throw or be wreathed in Faerie Fire for 1 minute (though they may repeat the saving throw at the end of each of their turns to end the effect early).

Monday, 21 November 2016

Umpleby - CR 4 (Large Monstrosity)

The 1st Edition Fiend Folio was infamous for the number of truly bizarre monsters it contained; products of British minds set free (we are not right). Amongst the curious menagerie was a strange, simple minded monster that simply followed adventurer's unlucky enough to encounter them; making a noise, accidentally blundering into ambushes, and generally causing chaos.

It was a weird "Bigfoot and the Hendersons" type thing; all hair and static, that charged up in its sleep.

That monster was the Umpleby.

"I just want a hug...but they all keep dying :("

So, here it is for 5e. I've done away with the sleep charging thing, to keep it simple, but have otherwise done my best to keep to the original version and its 2nd Edition incarnation.

Hope you like it!!

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Abishai - Medium Fiend (CR 4-17)

Okay, so this is a big one, but I think, one a lot of you will enjoy. Abishai, in the core game, are devils from the first level of Hell, the domain of Tiamat. They are gargoylish things that come in five varieties - each corresponding to one type of chromatic dragon. And, like their reptilian counterparts, Abishai are of different strengths and have attacks that inflict elemental damage.

"Yeaaaaah! Second Edition Roooolz! I am Baatezu now!"

 I first saw these things in the 1st Edition AD&D Monster Manual II, when they were one of many new devils and demons brought into the game. I used them a lot, enjoying their ability to summon more of their kind, and to turn a seemingly easy battle into something more horrific.

"He said I should 'get ahead'....geddit? A. Head? Yeah? No? Screw you guys"

Anyway, I was surprised when Volo's Guide to Monsters didn't contain these monsters, and decided to go and stat all five up. They are quite tough - and yes, the Blue and Red Abishai in particular are potent enemies for higher level groups to face. I hope you like!

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Myrlochar and Elder Myrlochar - Medium and Large Fiend (CR 2 and 7)

The 2nd Edition AD&D book, Drow of the Underdark was a godsend to a 17-year-old me, who was drunk on tales of a certain purple eyed Drow, was running numerous games that delved in the Underdark (based on the 2nd Edition Dungeoneers Survival Guide and the additional odds and ends out of the Bloodstone adventures), and who tried to squeeze the drow into every damn adventure he wrote. It cast a dismal glow over the secret world of the drow, and it became one of my favourite books.

"Soon Guen, an army of Chaotic Good misunderstood Drow will enter this world, and our kind will be hated for a new reason. Now, let's dance!"

Since then my game world, like me, has grown up a lot. The Drow became the Dwaer'Syth, and certain historical events were created to explain why, in the later games I ran, few if any worshiped Lolth, and why some had ties to - if not the trust of - some surface organisations and even realms.

However, at present, the PUG is set almost 5000 years before those games, back in a time when the first rebellious rumblings of uprising are only just starting to show amongst the Dwaer, and Lolth still pretty much runs things. This has given me a chance to dance down long forgotten paths (though they are currently allied to a breakaway settlements where Lolth is not worshiped, and are helping to uncover agents of the Loth'Vari; traditionalist Dwaer who want to overthrow the "rebels" and install the rule of their dark Goddess and her minions), and in the course of this, I am getting to convert a ton of old stuff to the newest edition.

The +4 Leotard of Protection; sexy and shielding...or something...

Myrlochar first (to my knowledge any way) appeared in the original Drow of the Underdark, and were spider shaped fiends that could be summoned easily by the servants of Lolth, to serve as guardians, soldiers or to oversee certain rites and rituals. They were also found in the 3.0 Monsters of Faerun, where they lost some of their nastier abilities.

So, it's an undead looking spider daemon...that's know what? I quit. Seeya

I have done two versions. The lower CR version is based on the 3.0 one. The Elder Myrlochar is based on the 2nd Edition version. Both are going to be seeing use in my games very, very soon.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Shemhazian - Gargantuan Fiend (CR 20)

Don't be fooled by its vaguely puppy dog like face, the Shemhazian, a daemon from the Pathfinder game is a certified abyssal badass that will seriously ruin your day if you are not careful. A vast, highly perceptive daemon, it is often used as a guardian by abyssal lords and is prized for it formidable powers and might.

Who's a good boy then? Whooooo's a good boy? You is! You is!
There are rituals that can summon and bind these daemons, and their names are prized secrets amongst many orders of magi. A Shemhazian is said to guard each entrance into the House of Presences in ancient Pentas Demonica, the City of Stained Stones, presenting a deadly threat to those that would seek to plunder its evil secrets, and there are stories of these creatures wandering the world post Sundering, seeking every being that currently, or who may one day, know their true names.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Dread Ram - CR 8 (Large Undead)

Another monster from the 3.0 Ghostwalk sourcebook, Dread Rams are large undead warbeasts, animated by high level necromancers. In my game, they are another of Jantherak's creations, used to smash through troop formations, and to offer cover to infantry as they moved towards enemy positions during the Guild Wars.

Chef's Tip: You do not want to touch the rack that comes from this lamb...

In later ages, they would serve as mounts for necromancers, and indeed, were hired out to those with the coin by certain enterprising groups with access to the rituals needed to create and control them. Dread Rams are a common sight amongst the Thornyr; raised by their shaman to serve as guardians, and large herds of these things are said to wander the Northern Devastation of 2nd Age Upper Malgoroth.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Death Hag - Medium Fey (CR 7)

Firstly, sorry for the break in updates. My fourth child was born on Friday so I've been, you know, kinda' busy (and I am consulting the chirurgeon about having my "orbs of life" decommissioned now, if you know what I mean). However, I do have time to post this little horror, which I believe (though I could be very wrong) originally appeared in the Eberron campaign world.

Death Hags are fey imbued with the essence of death. In my games they tend to stick to their own warped realities, occasionally entering the physical plane to seek components, or to wreak a little havoc. Death Hags are often found in the employ of the Cold Lords of the Order of Ravens however, and from time to time, they have made attempts to carve a tiny empire of death in the realms of the living.

She's skin hurts...

One notable Death Hag, who lived in the early (Pre-Sundering) Third Age, was Bulobora. She became infamous after she teamed up with the "Sisters of the Swollen Tongue" (an order of "nuns" dedicated to Sarrax'Thag'Nestra, the God of Disease, Famine and Plagues), and brought several new sicknesses, brewed in her home realm, into the world. These foul plagues (known later as the "Three Tribulations of Bulobora") swept through the southern cities of Fey, especially the city of Jadasvere, with its infamous "Rotting Fields".

Ultimately, Bulobora fell foul of her mortal sponsors, who had worked to craft a disease that could even infect one such as her. Her death came, according to sources from the time (though studying the infected writings of those pestilential priestesses is a risky business), slowly, with her choking on her own liquefying lungs, and rupturing her own ribs as they too turned to slime, and were torn apart by her coughs.

Anyways, here are the stats.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Wyrd - Medium Undead (CR 6)

Basic D&D had some brilliant monsters, many of which would never make it into the "Advanced" version of the game. In truth, the Wyrd did make the jump, appearing in the Mystara Monstrous Compendium, probably because it is a really cool monster.

"I'm so cool, I give 0 degrees Kelvin frostbite...well, that's what my mum says anyway."
The official descriptions for these monsters say they are the corpses of elves (or aelwyn in my games), that have been reanimated by powerful undead spirits. In the canon, there are two versions, lesser and greater, the lesser not being able to paralyse with their attacks. I did away with this, and combined the two, to give a monster that is, I feel, a little more rounded. Of course, if you wanted to recreate this, you could make a version that only has one attack or the other, those throwing the Erubescent Orbs being the lesser, those throwing the Sickly Orbs, the greater. 

Anyway, have fun!